Putting luxury tag on ‘made-in-India’ label
NEW DELHI - Agence France-Presse
Indian designer Saloni Lodha poses with her clothing line at a high-end lifestyle store in Mumbai. Her fans include film stars Naomi Watts and Emma Watson. AFP photo“Made in India” clothing is often seen as the product of sweatshop labour, but fashion designer Saloni Lodha, whose fans include film stars Naomi Watts and Emma Watson, wants to give it a luxury tag.
“I have great faith in the made-in-India idea and wanted to see an Indian, made-in-India brand in the world’s best stores,” she told AFP while on a visit to Mumbai to source fabrics.
British-based Lodha launched her label, Saloni, in 2007 with just 10 designs on offer.
Today, her flirty, feminine dresses are stocked at some of the world’s leading boutiques and worn by socialites and stars alike.
A precocious success in a competitive, often cutthroat industry, the 30-year-old designer has expanded her business to include jewellery and handbags, all the while trumpeting her brand’s Indian origins as a selling point.
Everything in the collection is manufactured in India in collaboration with traditional weavers, tailors and embroiderers.
Between India and London
Lodha maintains a studio in London, where she designs textiles and drapes her dresses, and says her work is built on “a constant dialogue between India and London.”
Her career rise has coincided with a growing interest in India among foreign fashion houses, both as a source of inspiration and fine workmanship.
French luxury goods maker Hermes launched a limited edition sari range in October 2011, and fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld presented an ode to the country’s royal heritage in a recent collection for Chanel.
From Valentino to Armani, several of the world’s top designers have turned to India to commission elaborate embroideries for their lavishly-beaded gowns.